The ridge on which present day Rothwell stands, overlooking the gentle Ise Valley, has witnessed the comings and goings of successive generations. Here four thousand years ago, Bronze Age mourners buried their dead alongside offerings of food in coarse vessels.
Romano-British people some two thousand years later built a settlement. Dark Age invaders came next and founded the Danish settlement of “Rodewell” or “place of the red well”, presumably so called because of the area’s many freshwater springs coloured red by iron minerals.
By the early Middle Ages Rothwell, or “Rowell” as it is known locally, was already a town of some importance, dominating the then lesser settlement of Kettering (a state of affairs which persisted until the arrival of the railway at the latter). A charter, granted by King John in AD 1204 permitting a weekly market and annual fair, confirmed the trade. Both market and fair are still held. The market every Monday, the fair, called “Rowell Fair”, takes place on Market Hill during the week following Trinity Sunday.